Days of Wine and Roses
Owen McCafferty's adaptation of JP Miller's teleplay is revived, with Keith Fleming and Sally Reid
Originally a teleplay by JP Miller from 1958, the story of Days of Wine and Roses is best known for the 1962 Oscar-nominated film starring Jack Lemmon. That story, which focuses on the plight of two average Americans, has been relocated to London by Northern Irish playwright Owen McCafferty. Donal and Mona are a couple from Belfast who meet in an airport, both headed for the bright lights of the UK capital to start a new life. As the narrative progresses from their meeting in 1962 through dating, marriage and eventual parenthood, it becomes apparent that formerly teetotal Mona has descended into alcoholism alongside her already addicted husband.
Keith Fleming and Sally Reid give strong performances and really bring out the isolation, desperation and sadness involved in their situation. Some of the high-octane interactions and repeated emphasis on the Irish love of horse racing become slightly tiresome and the absence of the wife’s father, present in the US-based versions, seems a missed opportunity to give the audience more insight into Mona’s character and background and why she was so susceptible to the lifestyle she eventually adopts.
Tron Theatre, Glasgow, until Sat 29 Oct.